A Wilderness of Vines is a 1966 novel by Hal Bennett.
Despite its overtly romantic cover, the novel is a serious satirical novel about post-slavery life in the South:
Being black-skinned, there are few adoptions from among the annex girls, except by black preachers who frequently adopt one of them on a trial basis to help wash and sew, the preachers claim, and to do other little Christian chores for the church.
It is somehow thought that black people are closer to God, particularly pretty black-skinned girls with bosoms like round young muskmelons at midnight. But sometimes these girls are returned to the orphanage by a preacher, who claims that she maliciously resisted the coming of the Holy Ghost; and she is exchanged for riper black melons to begin again the process of salvation. As a result, the annex near Appomattox is openly called Preacher's Exchange, since so many of these good men have tried to insert the Holy Ghost into the black girls, to introduce them to God.